Headphone Preferences

Discussion in 'technology' started by DieM, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Hi Guys.

    I've been thinking about upgrading both my earplugs and my headphones recently as I have some spare cash to spend. In this regard It would be nice to hear what some of your personal favorites and preferences might be.

    Firstly I will say that I have around £100 to spend on each (plugs and phones) but that doesn't mean that the headphones have to be exclusively at this price range as I know that some budget phones can sound better than some higher end alternatives.

    At the moment my main personal MP3 Player earplugs are Xiaomi Pistons II that only cost around £20 but sound a lot more expensive. The sound staging, presence and overall balance between lows, mids and highs are staggeringly well balanced considering the low price of these buds. I have had more expensive ones in the past but have found the online reviews for these to be very positive and was glad that I purchased them as they do excel in this price range.

    My main headphones are another inexpensive pair but again sound awesome for the price. They are Urbanears Plattan and cost around £40. I use these when I'm on my PC.

    It would be nice to hear what rocks your boat in earphone design and any recommendations would be a big plus. Obviously anything around £100 or under would spark my interest because of my own personal budget but your own choices no matter what the price would be very welcome too.

    PS:
    Just to say that Amazon reviews can sometimes be a bit one sided considering that some of the reviewers are easily influenced by the freebies that the sellers suck them in with.
    I prefer a balanced review from people who don't fall into this category & that is why I'm asking you guys for your input.

    Many thanks in advance :wink:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
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  3. Von_Steyr

    Von_Steyr Guest

    For causal listening take the K701 clones,Samson SR850,cost around 40$-50$, after around 200hours they sound very close to K701(akg studio reference heaadphones).
     
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  4. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Yeah burn in is pretty important. I've always found that my headphones sound better after a few days of listening! :)

    I'll check your recommendations out cheers.
     
  5. kimikaze

    kimikaze Producer

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    Those are some of most regarded around or under 100$, but some need reasonable amplification to sound best:

    Pioneer SE-A1000
    Philips SHP9500
    Takstar Pro80
    Takstar Hi2050
    SOMIC MH-463
    Sennheiser Momentum
    Creative Aurvana Live!
    Brainwavz HM5
    Takstar TS-671
    Sony MDR-7506
    Grado Prestige Series SR80e
    Superlux 668b
    Audio Technica ATH-M40x
    Beyerynamic DT-150








     
  6. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Thanks for your list kimikaze. I will certainly check them out.
    Can I ask you what your personal preferences might be?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  7. mylonojr

    mylonojr Member

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    Got myself a pair of sennheiser hd 25-SP II a couple of years ago and never have regretted it since. They are around 150 euros but I have come across some bargains on the internet although I can't remeber where. Also, let me just add that I haven't tried any of the headphones mentioned by kamikaze above and also I'm no expert. You can check them out here:
    http://en-de.sennheiser.com/studio-dynamic-headphones-closed-hd-25-sp-ii
     
  8. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    I had a pair of sennheiser about 10 years ago and remember that they did sound very warm and decent. I can't quite remember the model now but they were oval in shape and were around £30. I do however remember that they weren't too comfy (Prob cause of the shape) I do know that sennheiser are very decent though and will check these ones out. I also have a bit more to spend this time around so....Cheers for your post mate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  9. MrDweeb

    MrDweeb Newbie

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    I just bought headphones from Sonarworks and got the plug in with a calibrationfile - and Im really satisfyed with it! There you can choose headphones for your liking and they calibrate it.
     
  10. kimikaze

    kimikaze Producer

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    This is really hard to tell, until you can't try all, but that is also impossible for most :). Some have more laid back sound some are more flat in frequency response, some are more sharp, but they have more sparkle, some have great soundstage and are great for games, but tey lose some details and musicality because instruments spread wide, and so on. But all of those should sound pretty well. My personal preference(if i can pretend to belive to reviewers of those headphones) will probably be philips shp9500. Well balance between ability for studio production and still enjoyable for casual listening. But that's me. Is the best sounding out from those? i don't know. Some say, they sound almost like sennheiser HD600 and have pretty close sound tonality. I still sugest you check them all, as you may have completely different preferences. Of course always is best to listen personally, but that luxury is rare for most. You can also check this guy, he tested and reviewed some of them, but again, you should not trust him 100% as your impression from videos may be completely different, compared to when you try some in real. For the end, most comfortable are probably Brainwavz.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3XdYJjWliOdKuZMNaTiP8Q
     
  11. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    I know what you mean kimikaze. Overall it is all subjective.
    Still it is nice to hear other peoples personal preferences. No matter what I will still investigate what is quoted and eventually make my mind up as to what suits my own personal needs. Personally I prefer headphones that are more of a natural flat/balanced response so as I can decide what frequencies to flatten or enhance but as long as the soundstage is pretty wide and uninhibited. Thanks again for your reply mate :bow:
     
  12. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    I must say that the AKG Pro Audio K612Pro is looking pretty good at the moment. The price is $145.95 on Amazon.com and £88.61 on Amazon.co.uk (Free Delivery) I will however hold back in the meantime. I'm still interested to hear about earbuds too for my personal Sony MP3 player. Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks. :wink:
     
  13. seriousofficial

    seriousofficial Kapellmeister

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    you could try and have a listen: Sol Republic (over ear), sounds really decent.
     
  14. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Hey that sounds interesting. I have heard of calibration for personal sound. Definitely worth checking out! Thanks for that MrDweeb :like:
     
  15. MYCbeats

    MYCbeats Platinum Record

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    First, I am not a big headphone guy. I use them maybe 10 minutes on every song just to check my mix and tweak some fine details.
    Earbuds I wear them so I don't kill myself from boredom on the subway. So I don't have a lot of experience with different brands but I do have some general guidelines that work for me. It depends on what exactly you're looking for.

    For recording, a rugged closed back design with a detachable cable, average sound. I have KRK KNS8400 for this, a bit above average sound, great isolation (very little bleed).

    For mixing/mastering, I prefer an open or semi-open design. My AKG K240s are really revealing and have a great stereo field.

    For casual listening, something light, with good isolation, decent sound, so closed back again. I like my Bose AE1.

    Earbuds, I need them to be disposable but also have a relatively accurate sound as to not mess up my hearing. $20 Sonys with the remote work well. I go threw a pair every 3-4 months. I also really liked the AIAIAI, they cost like 3 times more but lasted me twice as long.
     
  16. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Just checked them out on Youtube. I really like how each part is separate and interchangeable. That would also mean that if one part breaks it can be replaced more cheaply than buying a whole new headset. You can also change color and style which is pretty cool which makes them very durable overall. As to the sound? I have to dig deeper for decent reviews. Cheers for that seriousofficial.
     
  17. DieM

    DieM Platinum Record

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    Although I do make my own music on Bitwig and Studio One it is not a pro thing but only for my own pleasure. My own personal preferences as far as headphones and earbuds go usually start with what sounds good to me from my favorite bands so I haven't really considered them firstly from a studio point of view so your reply is pretty interesting in that respect.

    When you talk about the rugged closed back and open or semi open for various tasks it makes me want to know more! I must admit that I am not that technically minded but just go with what sounds good to me. I admire your knowledge and take heed in what you say.

    I recently purchased a pair of Sony MDR-XB50AP In-Ear Extra Bass Headphones as an upgrade to my Gold Xiaomi 2nd Piston earbuds and ended up returning them as they did not match the Xiaomi's. Yeah the earbuds are only for a casual listening experience when I'm out and about and not sitting in my house looking for more serious sounds but hey ho. Listen mate I take on board your recommendations and will check them out. Thanks again MYCbeats. Very interesting! :bow:
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
  18. MYCbeats

    MYCbeats Platinum Record

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    Heres the first article on google about closed vs open back headphones. http://www.howtogeek.com/191416/ask...losed-back-headphones-and-which-should-i-get/

    When you listen to speakers, your left ear hears the left speaker, and a bit of the right speaker, and vice versa. This crosstalk gives a much more natural stereo field as in reality both ears always hear the same source and the difference in intensity, frequency, and time delay is how we percieve the location of that sound (now we're getting into psycho-acoustics). Closed back headphones (and earbuds) isolate the each ear and inject a concentrated dose of the left signal to the left ear and right to the right. I find the little bit of bleed from open back headphones to better emulate speakers.

    So when you're recording, you don't want sound to bleed from the headphones and into the mic, it can make for an annoying flanging sound and sometimes tedious job of removal - therefore closed back is a better option.

    When you're mixing with headphones you want to be able to make panning decisions accurately so open back is much better.
     
  19. Andrew

    Andrew AudioSEX Maestro Staff Member

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    Over the years I found recommending headphones to people to be difficult task - as always, it's best to borrow them (when possible) for a few days and try it on your own. Ironically, the headphones I'm using were rated as "mid-fi" and "with underwhelming bass", yet I find them to be perfect match for my ears. At the same time, you can read over 200 5-star reviews about DT880 on Amazon, but to me, the sound was V-shaped, tiresome and absolutely unacceptable for reference headphones (forget precise EQing).
    I had most luck with AKG headphones, except for K701/K702, those were really bad in almost every aspect from specs to frequency balance (oversaturated highs) and no depth at all.

    Open back headphones doesn't necessarily "improve" stereo field - this illusion is achieved through how the headphone shell is formed around the transducer and behind it. Take AKG K550 or K271 - both sound "open" yet both are closed back.
    What this closed/semi/open design do is enhance or attenuate early and late reflections inside the shell. Open headphones sound more "direct" and "dry" (most ERs and LRs leave the shell), while closed might add more "room" information.

    Equalization is also important factor - there's diffuse-field and free-field equalization.
    Diffuse-field is built to sound like reverberant room from close perspective (useful for mixing acoustics), while free-field mimics the frequency response of human ear, focusing more on spectral precision.
    Through crossfeed, a pair of diffuse field equalized headphones, could almost perfectly mimic the sound of studio monitors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
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  20. midi-man

    midi-man Rock Star

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    I vote Sony MDR-7506 or get the next model up you can't got wrong with either one of these.
    I pick up a Sony MDR-7506 during XMas for $50 bux that was a great price for it on Amazon.
     
  21. seriousofficial

    seriousofficial Kapellmeister

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    It's a really full sounding headphone set and really worth while checking out. Of course it's very personal what you search for in the overall sound but I quite like it.
     
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